The Problem of Pain

AP Photo/Patrick Sison

Most people aren’t keen on suffering as part of their daily life. Granted, all but the most deluded understand and accept, albeit begrudgingly, that there will be periods of pain in life. However, actively seeking pain is seldom an action plan for any save the self-loathing.


One of Scripture’s odder passages is found in Acts. To set up the scene, the Sanhedrin had called the apostles to face them, irate over their preaching Jesus as risen.

They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.

The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.

Personally, I would prefer not being flogged, although I have felt like I have been clobbered mentally in such a manner many times over the years. We all have.

The problem of pain for a believer is that the same Savior Who loves and saves us also lets us know we will share in His suffering. There is no joy in suffering. But there is love, and truth, knowing that our temporal distress will one day be forever healed in His loving presence.

The latest Cephas Hour talks about this and other matters, including the lamentable trend toward woke-agenda-driven fantasy and the harsh words God has for His people when they play at religiosity in lieu of genuine worship and service. You can listen to the show on-demand at this link on the show’s website. In addition to The Call, other artists in this show are Crystoria, The Choir, Kemper Crabb, and Oden Fong. Hope you enjoy it, and thanks.


I’ve made no bones over the years about my lengthy battle with depression on multiple fronts. I say this not to troll for sympathy but rather to acknowledge fact in the hope that my fellow sufferers will take heart in knowing they are not alone.

A factoid I’ve often heard concerns diet’s connection with depression. Overeat sugar, and it will drag you down. Don’t drink enough water, and it will drag you down. Now, I freely admit I am a candy and chocolate addict, but I have made at least some effort over the years to keep my sweet tooth in check.

The past several days, although I have been facing legitimate challenges trying to drag me down on multiple fronts, I have been feeling better about life. I chalk this up to two factors. One is becoming much more serious and disciplined regarding Bible study. Two, making sure I’m keeping myself from getting dehydrated at work or home.

Sometimes, we who believe can become distracted from the miraculous by seeking the miraculous. We look for something supernatural as a means of dealing with a problematic situation, overlooking not only available “commonplace”  solutions but also overlooking how that which we see as “commonplace” is firmly rooted in the miraculous.

Our God is the Author of all creation, a creation built for us, His ofttimes wayward children. If you or I have a headache, and we pray for relief from the headache, is not God’s creation of the salicylic acid found in several plants, most noticeably willow bark, said acid being the foundation of acetylsalicylic acid, which we know as aspirin, a miraculous gift made for humanity’s benefit?


Never sell God or His creation short when it comes to dealing with life.

Although I post a link to this show on a political website, I do my best to keep politics out of the show. I have nothing against politics, obviously. But, if the Prince of Peace does not trump politics — no pun intended — I am not doing my job properly.

Politics and contemporary culture are inexorably intertwined, even as faith, when properly applied to life and contemporary culture, are inexorably intertwined if for no other reason except their usual fierce opposition to one another. A case in point is a recent story at RedState by Brandon Morse discussing the latest bumbling addition to the Star Wars family, this one featuring a coven of lesbian witches who apparently can conceive via being impregnated, or a reasonable facsimile thereof, by the Force. Really now.

MOREStar Wars Is Now Lesbian Space Witches...I'm Not Kidding

One of the Bible’s strengths is its status as literature, in addition to being God’s Word. The richness of its stories, be they the sweeping epics of the Old Testament or the heart-piercing tales from Jesus’ life in the New Testament, is more than even their divine designation dictates. They move people with their sheer power. This has been the purpose of fantasy since its origin in tales told around the campfire after the day’s hunt. It illustrates good and evil, using metaphor to excite the imagination even as it sharpens the mind regarding life’s fundamentals. Without this cornerstone, fantasy is pointless.


The prophet Isaiah wrote:

Hear the word of the LORD,
you rulers of Sodom;
listen to the instruction of our God,
you people of Gomorrah!
“The multitude of your sacrifices —
what are they to me?” says the LORD.
“I have more than enough of burnt offerings,
of rams and the fat of fattened animals;
I have no pleasure
in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.
When you come to appear before me,
who has asked this of you,
this trampling of my courts?
Stop bringing meaningless offerings!
Your incense is detestable to me.
New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations —
I cannot bear your worthless assemblies.
Your New Moon feasts and your appointed festivals
I hate with all my being.
They have become a burden to me;
I am weary of bearing them.
When you spread out your hands in prayer,
I hide my eyes from you;
even when you offer many prayers,
I am not listening.

Your hands are full of blood!

Wash and make yourselves clean.
Take your evil deeds out of my sight;
stop doing wrong.
Learn to do right; seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
plead the case of the widow.

“Come now, let us settle the matter,”
says the LORD.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.
If you are willing and obedient,
you will eat the good things of the land;
but if you resist and rebel,
you will be devoured by the sword.”
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.


It’s something to think about.


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